KXAN (AUSTIN) - A City Council proposal would lift the curfew on Austin trails for 2013 for certain uses.
The ordinance proposal sponsored by Councilman Chris Riley would create a pilot program allowing joggers and cyclists to use the trail 24 hours a day, but only as a means for transportation.
"The trail is an east-west transportation corridor," said Susan Rankin, the executive director for The Trail Foundation. "The concern is we need to get as many people off the road as possible since it is so dangerous to bike at night."
There have been more than 300 Austin accidents involving vehicles colliding with pedestrians or cyclists in 2012.
The pilot program aims to take late-night foot and bike traffic off city roads.
However, the proposal does not call for any additional lighting which raises a safety concern of a different kind for many trail travelers.
"There are too many homeless people that walk through here at night and I don't think it would be safe at all," said jogger Christina Roque.
Rankin said The Trail Foundation supports the pilot program, but would not support any additional lighting due to the nature of the trail.
"The trail is natural and beautiful and the trail itself needs to rest," said Rankin. "An increased high level of lighting would really not work."
People traveling during dark hours would be asked to wear or provide their own lighting devices.
Rankin also expressed concerns about law enforcement if the trail is opened up for overnight travel.
"The council is going to have to address that from a policy point of view."
The council is expected to discuss the proposal during Thursday's meeting.
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